The association between cortisol and neighborhood disadvantage in a U.S. population-based sample of adolescents

Kara E. Rudolph, Wand Gary S., Elizabeth A. Stuart, Thomas A Glass, Andrea H. Marques, Roman Duncko, Kathleen R. Merikangas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The association between neighborhood conditions and cortisol is rarely studied in children or adolescents and has been hampered by small sample size and racial/ethnic and geographic homogeneity. Our objective was to estimate the association between neighborhood disadvantage and salivary cortisol levels in a large, geographically and racially/ethnically diverse sample of adolescents from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement. Salivary cortisol was collected before and after an interview administered in the adolescent's home. We used a propensity score approach to match adolescents living in disadvantaged neighborhoods with those in non-disadvantaged neighborhoods to create two similar groups based on the time and day of cortisol collection as well as demographic characteristics. Adolescents living in disadvantaged neighborhoods had higher pre-interview cortisol levels and steeper rates of decline in cortisol levels over the course of the interview than similar adolescents in non-disadvantaged neighborhoods. This bolsters the evidence base suggesting that place may influence the stress response system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-77
Number of pages10
JournalHealth and Place
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Adolescents
  • Cortisol
  • Neighborhood
  • Propensity Score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'The association between cortisol and neighborhood disadvantage in a U.S. population-based sample of adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this